I’ll admit, I was skeptical of this recipe the first go-round. Am I really pouring sloppy Joe sauce into a bag of frozen meatballs? Will this actually taste good? But the answer was a resounding yes (why was I even nervous? It’s sloppy Joe sauce and meatballs!), and the pouring of that sauce turned out to be one of the smartest sheet pan dinner shortcuts ever.
This recipe requires just four ingredients, no mixing bowl, and makes both a sandwich and a vegetable side on one single sheet pan. Ready to get a little weird with this Miracle Meal? Here’s how to make sheet pan sloppy Joe subs and broccoli for dinner tonight.
Hack Your Sheet Pan for the Best, Easiest Subs
This recipe was inspired by my older sister, who makes a version of these subs for her two kids. She uses a baking dish to hold the subs, which, due to its high sides, keeps the buns from drying out in the oven. To make room for a vegetable side, I like to bake these on a sheet pan (which has a larger surface area), but I create a protective shield for the subs out of aluminum foil to keep the buns tasting fresh — and to hold them in place when I’m moving them in and out of the oven. While I’m constructing my foil dam, I also like to line the sheet pan with foil to make cleanup even easer.
Embrace the weirdest moment of this recipe for less cleanup: Open your can (or jar) of sloppy Joe sauce and pour it directly into the bag of frozen meatballs. Use tongs to toss the meatballs in the sauce, then transfer the meatballs to the sub rolls. When you’re done, toss the bag!
What Is a Miracle Meal?
Miracle meals are the meals we pull off despite the failure of our best-laid plans; the dinners we can get on the table in 10 minutes; the meals made from pantry staples. Miracle meals are just as much about the cooks as they are about the eaters. At Kitchn, a Miracle Meal recipe only uses basic kitchen equipment and no more than five ingredients, with just 40 minutes (or less) of hands-on cooking time.
Sheet Pan Sloppy Joe Meatball Subs
Prep time: 10 minutes ; cooking time: 25 minutes
1 (24-ounce) bag
1 (16-ounce) can
sloppy Joe sauce, such as Manwich or Stonewall Kitchen
(6-inch) sub sandwich rolls, split down the top
1 (8-ounce) bag
shredded cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack and cheddar blend
1 (8-ounce) bag
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Fold a 2-foot-long sheet of aluminum foil in half lengthwise, then fold it in half again. Place the sub rolls on 2/3 of a rimmed baking sheet and wrap the foil strip around them. This will keep the rolls from drying out while the meatballs heat through and give you room to roast the broccoli without dirtying another pan.
Arrange the broccoli in a sinlgle layer on the remaining third of the pan. Add the sloppy Joe sauce directly to the bag of frozen meatballs and shake to coat. Divide the meatballs between the sub rolls, then scoop any excess sauce over the meatballs. Sprinkle the sandwiches with the cheese.
Bake until bubbly and the meatballs are heated through, about 25 minutes.